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fighting complexification (was: rdf-concepts comments: this should be a note)

From: Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2002 10:07:44 -0600
Cc: RDF Core <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
To: Jan Grant <Jan.Grant@bristol.ac.uk>
Message-Id: <B84AC7C9-F0D8-11D6-842C-003065F376B6@aaronsw.com>

> Where's the complexity that you see, Aaron?

Abstract syntax:  An RDF document is a series of statements, each made 
up of three parts, any of which can be a resource, identified by a URI, 
the first and last of which can be an existential variable identified 
by a local node identifier, called a bNode, the last of which can also 
be a Literal, which consists of a string, a language tag, identified by 
a two-letter language code from [cite] and a datatype, identified by a 
URI of an XML Schema datatype [cite].

That's off the top of my head; I probably missed a lot and got stuff 
wrong!

Syntax: For RDF/XML? I don't even want to go there!

Model Theory: You can safely: take any triple away; replace any blank 
node with a URIref, literal or new blank node; combine two RDF 
documents you believe in (as long as you rename the bNodes).

That wouldn't be too bad if it was said in that fashion; again I 
probably confused a lot.

> A "simple" competitor to RDF might be a rather straightforward
> graph-based language - but explanations of how that should be used to
> provide rich consistent semantic structures are almost certainly not
> going to be.

I don't really follow you. Here's what a simple competitor would look 
like:

Abstract syntax:  An X document is a series of 3-tuples, where each 
member is either a resource (identified by a URI) or a string.

Model Theory: You can safely take any triple away and combine two X 
documents.

Syntax: Each 3-tuple is separated by a ' .\n', each member is separated 
by ' ', the resources are identified by '<' + URI + '>' and the strings 
by '"' + string + '"'. [Give example.]

Curtain. Then there'd be a primer with some words on use, maybe a page 
or two.
-- 
Aaron Swartz [http://www.aaronsw.com] "Curb your consumption," he said.
Received on Tuesday, 5 November 2002 11:07:46 EST

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